All of the big academic prizes go for research. But among the innovations emerging from the Benchmark Capital-funded Minerva Project is a serious prize to reward the educator who has contributed the most to excellence in education. The press release begins with this:
April 22, 2013 – Minerva Project, which is redefining a top-tier university experience to prepare global leaders and innovators, today announced the launch of the Minerva Academy, a society of educators dedicated to promoting and rewarding innovation and excellence in teaching. Led by Nobel Laureate Roger Kornberg, who will serve as Governor of the new Academy, the group will select and award the Minerva Prize for Advancements in Higher Education. This international honor and $500,000 prize, the largest of its kind, will be bestowed on one distinguished educator each year whose innovations have led to extraordinary student learning experiences. Nominations are open through November 30, 2013 at http://www.minervaproject.com/academy and the first Minerva Prize will be awarded in May 2014.
“While academic research has long been internationally recognized, and rightfully so, communication of the passion that lies behind it has gone largely unnoticed. We seek to enhance the intellectual development of students and inspire their interest, while continuing to support the creation, dissemination and preservation of knowledge within the professoriate,” said Dr. Roger Kornberg, governor of the Minerva Academy. “The new Minerva Academy and Prize are a step toward balancing emphasis and recognition in higher education.”
The Minerva Academy is an honorary institution that will induct the best educational innovators from around the world. Academy members will be identified and invited based on recognized expertise focused on student learning as well as published research. The objective of the Minerva Academy is to promote, recognize and reward extraordinary advancements in teaching excellence by providing a forum for open exchange of new ideas and enhanced practices in higher education instruction.
The Academy will recognize achievement through the Minerva Prize for Advancements in Higher Education, to be awarded annually to one faculty member, from any institution worldwide, who has demonstrated extraordinary, innovative teaching and advancements in learning experiences. The Minerva Prize is the largest teaching award of its kind, focusing on significant advancement in student learning in higher education. One $500,000 cash prize will be awarded to the winner, who will be selected through a rigorous nomination and review process.